In this piece I try to steer you clear from the clutches of diet and calorie shenanigans. Let’s forget the number games and try to make sense of what we can learn from the daily life of our fundamental building block.
It’s time we start thinking about food as the source of our being. What we eat affects what we are made of. What are we made of?
Experts say, an average person is made of 30 trillion cells. (30 followed by 12 zeros).
Some experts say, each cell is an individual YOU and that cells can think (without a brain) and respond to environmental changes (food). It is then our duty to treat our own cells with respect then?
Let’s get into metabolism without being too sciency, shall we?
Metabolism is chemical reactions that occur in cells for their normal functioning.
Metabolism Does 3 Things
- Convert food into energy for cell function.
- Convert food into building blocks of cells like protein and lipids (fat).
- Remove waste produced by the cells.
To put it short, metabolism is the lifestyle of cells.
As long as these 3 functions are in order, one has a healthy body.
Now you know how the magic of a nutrient rich diet works to reduce weight without exercise. Thanks to a good diet that ensures an optimal energy conversion at the cellular level.
A disruption in one or more of these 3 functions would mean that the calories eaten are not effectively converted to energy and stored as fat. Think about all the waste from the cell not finding an efficient way out. Disaster.
A poor diet (refined and processed ingredients) affects this crucial lifestyle of cells and leads to weight gain, therefore maintaining good metabolism or improving it becomes our primary duty for wellness.
How do you improve metabolism?
Exercise regularly, build muscle mass, eat healthy, sleep well, manage stress, avoid processed foods, stay hydrated. If I may read your mind, you might be experiencing Deja-poo (The feeling of having heard this crap before)
Although true, that list is nothing short of unappealing at first glance. “Avoid processed foods” is a good place to start, that’s a tough task, since it needs a shift in mindset. I am not using the word “change” because who likes that?
Any decision taken in haste will set you to failure. We often hear about informed decision making and the first step is to keep yourself informed.
Information vs Knowledge
Still reading about the health benefits of tomatoes and oranges? See, that’s information for primary grade kids. Who doesn’t know that stuff?
Access to that information is everywhere, often overwhelming, confusing and contradicting? Such information is useless unless we, for a lack of a good word, “use it right”.
Many people are busy hopping diets. Because they want to get somewhere soon. They act on anecdotal information and get inspired by friends or family members who were able to magically fix their health or body in 10 days.
Knowledge is when you know what your food is made of? what happens to the food you put in your mouth? Where does it go and what does it do to your body? In simple words, this means to connect with your food and build a relationship with it.
Sometimes a small nudge is all that is needed to guide one in the right direction.
Reading will get you there. Trust me.
I suggest you sharpen the axe before getting into the act. Read about refined ingredients (sugar, oil, flour) and how it causes inflammation in the body. It’s a good starting point.
Also it’s easy to identify unhealthy ingredients in your food rather than attempting to know the millions of good ones out there.
This is like reverse psychology, where you learn about the bad to know the good. Once you realize that fat loss is a slow chemical process and remember the lifestyle of cells, you are all set for a healthy weight loss journey (without a destination)
The Three Brains In The Body.
What’s the other two?
Brain, Hero of the science people and literally everyone?
The brain is synonymous with knowledge, intelligence and the like. Pretty impressive feat for just a fragile goop of cholesterol that processes information.All the attention the brain has garnered is due to its placement in the human body, safe and high?
Heart, Hero of the art & literature people; emotion and entertainment if you will.
Science says that neural connections from heart to brain out number connections from brain to heart.No wonder the heart is the brain that processes emotions.
Gut. Nobody gives a crap, until recently.
Science Fact: Serotonin is produced in the brainstem and the gut. It is known as the “feel-good” hormone because it plays a role in regulating mood, sleep, appetite, and pain.
So you see, the gut is not just for processing waste, it’s also processing wellness. The butterfly in the tummy and gut feelings are real and backed by science. I would suggest eating for your gut rather than your health, makes sense?
And the next time your bowel talks, take note. You don’t want to miss those cues from your gut and end up wanting someone else’s pieces of gut!
Poop For Fixing The Gut?
In India there exists a reference to drinking one’s urine, used as a metaphor for “learning from a smart person”. There are also accounts of people who would drink their own! Consumption of urine also finds mention in ancient cultures and I believe people still do it even today.
You might have guessed where I am leading you. Yes, eating poop in the form of pills is a thing backed by science. Poop pills contain human feces (from a healthy person’s gut) purified down to extract the beneficial gut microbes.
The treatment involves people (with a weak metabolism or gut health, and people on prolonged antibiotics who have a depleted gut microbe count) ingesting the pill. The good microbes would enter the gut and revive the gut microbiome thus improving one’s health.
Apparently good health must come from good poop should you fail to adopt good nutrition. Holy crap!
Don’t build hopes on the poop pill yet. You can’t fix your health by popping these pills whilst still continuing on an unhealthy diet and or lifestyle. Neither is it likely for these pills to be available over the counter.
Metabōl: A New Religion For Health.
Your belief becomes your religion.
Nothing brings about discipline like a religion, right?
If I were to propagate a new religion, it would call it Metabōl (not to be confused with the metabol used in the fitness industry) and go about preaching Metabolism.
What might this religion look like? What good can it bring to our health?
Commandments of Metabolism
You shall eat nutritious food at all times.
You shall avoid processed food at all times.
You shall eat foods of all color, shape and size.
You shall put your phone on DND for 30 minutes before eating.
You shall sit with folded legs (meditation pose) & eat with your fingers.
You shall only think of all the good this food shall do to your body.
You shall sniff the food every time and savor it while chewing.
You shall chew the food at least 20 times before swallowing.
You shall refill your plate only after 20 minutes have passed and only if you still feel very hungry.
Feel free to add your own and treat these as a guide.
It’s impossible to follow good things to the word.
Take Away From Metabolism
Rather than talk about the usual diet, calorie and fat burning stuff, we looked at how food works and gets converted to energy at the cellular level, without being too sciency. We saw how crucial it is to maintain your cell’s lifestyle!
When we say energy from food, it implies the vitamins, minerals and proteins essential for various cell functions. Everytime you end up eating processed foods void of nutrients,those empty calories go straight to fat cells for storage. A sedentary lifestyle only aggravates the situation.
Medical procedures and scientific advancements in medicines like the poop pill sure can be life saving, but let that be a last resort. For the majority of people, fixing health is simple and can be done with food you like.
Stop hopping diets and looking for magic bullets or potions. It’s important to understand how nutrition works. A mindset shift can bring about that understanding and reading about nutrition and health is an effective way to bring any meaningful change.
If you are this far, you are doing great! Again, remember the lifestyle of cells. It’s about the chemical process. Provide your cell with nutrition and see how effortlessly they burn up stored fat.
Interesting fact: When fat cells are used up for energy, the metabolic process releases carbon dioxide. In a way, you exhale all that fat!
Mind you, it works only in that order.
I will leave you with that thought.
Thanks for your time and don’t forget to sign up to my blog.